BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- When something goes wrong, students at De Pere High School know where to turn.
“Maybe it's direct knowledge on a concern that they have related to a school shooting, drugs, alcohol, something that happened before,” says Assistant Principal Roger Allen. “It gives them something to go to when they don't know where to go.”
For the past four years, crime stopping message boards have lit up the common area at De Pere High School, as part of the Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers program.
The program has been so successful, crime prevention grants have expanded, placing message boards in all four Green Bay high schools.
“It's been our conclusion that nobody else has their finger on the pulse of what's going on in the student population, than the students. So we're trying to get them to trust in the system, and provide us information. Allow us to make the school safer,” says Neil Strobel, a board member for Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers.
Students can anonymously report crimes via phone call, text or Crime Stoppers app – and may receive compensation for their tips.
“I think that they really like the fact that they can use their phones and be separate, and jump on a computer, and that's kind of how they do things. It's not like years ago where someone's going to call and leave a message. They like the fact of texting,” says Officer Brian Arkens, De Pere Police Department.
When Crime Stoppers first began work with high schools back in 2014, law enforcement received 520 tips and made 91 arrests.
By 2017, Crime Stoppers received 1,069 tips, and law enforcement made 94 arrests.
Experts hope the expansion of the program to all Green Bay high schools will draw in even more crime tips.
Up next, Crime Stoppers board members hope to spread the program to area middle schools.